This morning, I did something I never thought I would do. I Uber’d.
Uber has always crashed into the NY yellow taxi cab speeding through my DNA. My Yia Yia and Papou, shortly after they moved to the Big Apple from Greece in the 60’s, purchased a taxi medallion; for around $50,000 – and my Papou drove it around the five boroughs. He drove Tony Bennet once. And another time, my mom saw him in the cab next to hers while stopped at a red light in Manhattan.
As his age rose like cigarette smoke, his driving expertise begin to dwindle and my mother and her siblings decided to rent out the medallion to another driver. This proved to be an incredibly lucrative move. By 2011, taxi medallions’ worth skyrocketed to almost 1 million dollars.
However, in the age of apps designed to limit any uncomfortable communication, one now boasts the freedom of “calling a cab” with the touch of a screen.
My Yia Yia has heard of this ominous thing called “Uber”; this thing that pressures her to sell a precious part of her livelihood and forfeit the security of a monthly check for the guarantee of not losing any more money. What is “Uber” and how does it have so much power?
Well, she found out this morning. I rode in an Uber to my 6AM flight to Atlanta from LaGuardia Airport. At 4:30 AM, my Uber arrived in THREE MINUTES.
No calling the night before. No haggling the taxi driver for a deal over the phone. No need to run to an ATM for cash. Just a touch of a screen.
I think my Yia Yia finally gets it.